How to Choose the Right Office 365 Plan for Your Business

How to Choose the Right Office 365 Plan for Your Business

One of the many advantages of migrating to Office 365 is that it allows businesses to enjoy the latest software and services for a predictable monthly fee, rather than having to worry about major up-front investments and paying for regular upgrades.

Although Microsoft Office is also available in the form of a standalone purchase for both home and business users, Office 365 presents a subscription-based alternative that comes with many additional services and features that businesses can choose from. But with so many subscription packages available, it’s not always obvious which solution is the best fit for your business.

What Are the Differences Between Business and Enterprise Licenses?

The first step toward choosing the right Office 365 plan for your organization is to determine whether you need a business or enterprise license. For the most part, it depends on the number of users you need. As the license categories suggest, the business packages are tailored primarily toward small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), while enterprise licenses are designed with big corporations and companies with multiple branches in mind.

Generally, you’ll want to choose an enterprise license if your total user count is over 300 or is likely to become so in the foreseeable future. However, regardless of the size of your organization, it’s important to know that enterprise subscriptions do ship with some additional features you might need. For example, legal practitioners may want a litigation hold, which is available only for enterprise subscriptions. Other features exclusive to enterprise versions include unlimited archiving and mail storage and integrated unified communications.

Office 365 Subscription Plans for Business

There are four business subscription packages, all of which support up to 300 users (except for ProPlus) and demand an annual commitment. Office 365 Business Essentials offers an entry-level solution for small businesses. While it costs only $5 per month per user, it does not include any of the Office productivity applications like Microsoft Word, Outlook, or Excel. Like all business packages, however, it does come with business email with a 50 GB inbox, 1 TB of cloud storage, and team collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Yammer.

If you’re looking for productivity applications, along with the online versions of the Office applications, you’ll be better off upgrading to the Office 365 Business package, which incurs a monthly cost of $8.25 per user, but does not include most of the additional online services other than 1 TB of cloud storage with OneDrive.

SMBs wanting to take advantage of both Microsoft’s cloud-based services (e.g., Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams) and Office productivity applications should opt instead for the Business Premium package, which incurs a monthly cost of $12.5 per user. This is the most popular option for SMBs.

Finally, there is the ProPlus version, which is a compromise between Business Premium and the lesser Enterprise subscriptions. Unlike all the other Business packages, it has no user limit, and it allows employees to use the same licenses on up to five of their own devices. This makes ProPlus particularly useful for organizations with bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

Office 365 Subscription Plans for Enterprise

If you’re after unlimited scalability and/or any of the enterprise-specific features, then you’ll be wanting to look at one of the three Enterprise packages. At the lower end of the spectrum, you have Enterprise E1, which is analogous to Business Essentials in that it does not come with the Microsoft Office desktop programs, but it does offer HD video conferencing, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and 24/7 phone and web support. The package costs $8 per month per user. For $20 per user per month, you can upgrade to the Enterprise E3 package, which includes regulatory compliance and additional security features, as well as all the apps available in the Business Premium package.

The highest available subscription level is Enterprise E5 which, costing $35 per user per month, includes advanced cybersecurity and compliance features as well as the full range of unified communications tools, such as PSTN conferencing and a cloud-hosted PBX.

WhiteOwl helps businesses expand and secure their futures in the cloud through our tailor-made Office 365 implementations. Backed by straightforward setup and robust security, our solutions offer everything you expect from a world leader in technology. Call us today to get the IT solutions your organization deserves.

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